Jewish groups denounce Trump's 'vile' remarks at Israeli-American Council

Jewish groups criticized President Trump for using anti-Semitic tropes while speaking to the Israeli-American Council on Saturday night. 

The Jewish Democratic Council of America said his remarks were “deeply offensive” in that they repeated “negative stereotypes that have been used historically to target Jews.” 

The remarks doubled down on the group's critique that Trump is the “biggest threat to American Jews,” which the group highlighted in an ad released last month.

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“We strongly denounce these vile and bigoted remarks in which the president – once again – used anti-Semitic stereotypes to characterize Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel,” Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director Halie Soifer said in a statement Sunday. 

“He even had the audacity to suggest that Jews ‘have no choice’ but to support him, and that we should ‘get people out of [our] country’ in order to increase support of Israel,” she added.

During the Israeli-American Council’s 2019 national summit in Hollywood, Fla., Trump told the crowd, “A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well.”

“You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me. You have no choice,” he continued.  

He went on to criticize Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Biden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (D-Mass.), a leading Democratic presidential candidate, saying, “You're not going to vote for Pocahontas.” 

"You're not going to vote for the wealth tax," he added. "Yeah, let's take 100 percent of your wealth away," Trump said.

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He also said, “We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more.” 

“We have to get them to love Israel more because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people — they don't love Israel enough,” Trump said. 

Left-leaning Jewish advocacy group J Street similarly hit the president over his speech. 

“The President of the United States is incapable of addressing Jewish audiences without dipping into the deep well of anti-Semitic tropes that shape his worldview,” the group tweeted Sunday. 

“We’re not going to hold our breath waiting for Trump's supporters to speak out. We are going to work tirelessly to defeat this president and those who’ve enabled him 11 months from now,” J Street added.

Soifer pointed out that Trump, in fact, does not have the support of the majority of American Jews. 

American Jews do have a choice, and they’re not choosing President Trump or the Republican Party, which has been complicit in enacting his hateful agenda,” she said. 

Soifer said Jewish support for the GOP has been slashed in half since Trump took office, from 33 percent in 2014 to 17 percent in 2018, and she added that the decrease was because “Trump’s policies and rhetoric are completely antithetical to Jewish values.”

“An overwhelming majority of Jews are both pro-Israel and anti-Trump because of his incendiary rhetoric targeting our community and others, and because his symbolic gestures on Israel have not made America or Israel more secure,” she said. 

This is not the first time American Jewish groups have called out Trump for invoking anti-Semitic tropes to suggest that Jewish Americans have a loyalty to Israel above the U.S. 

The Jewish Democratic Council of America and J Street were among groups to condemn Trump in August when he said American Jews who vote for Democrats are disloyal.